Fifty-two new cases of Covid-19 have been diagnosed in Kildare today, out of a national total of 592. Ten further deaths have been confirmed from the virus, eight of which occurred in March. The median age of those who died was 75 and the ages ranged from 0-84 years.
Of the cases notified today: 299 are men / 288 are women; 72% are under 45 years of age and the median age is 32 years old. Some 253 cases occurred in Dublin, 52 in Kildare, 35 in Donegal, 33 in Meath, 28 in Galway and the remaining 191 cases are spread across all other counties.
As of 8am today, 359 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 87 are in ICU. 32 additional hospitalisations have occurred in the past 24 hours.
As of March 8, 536,617 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland: 382,528 people have received their first dose and 154,089 people have received their second dose.
Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Heath said; “Today marks one year since we reported Ireland’s first death related to Covid-19. More than 4,500 people have lost their lives with this disease. We remember them, and their families and friends, as well as the many people who remain seriously ill or who are dealing with long-term health issues because of Covid-19.
“We now have three vaccines and a fourth authorised by the European Medicines Agency today, which offers us a way out of this pandemic. We must continue to protect as many people as possible from the severe effects of COVID-19 and to give people a chance to become vaccinated over the next number of weeks and months.
“Your efforts to limit contacts and follow the public health advice is not in vain, it is to protect people and it directly saves lives.”
Today, NPHET endorsed new HPSC guidance on nursing home visitation which allows for more regular visiting. The new guidance comes into effect from March 22.
Professor Martin Cormican, Clinical Lead for Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, HSE said; “Under the new guidance, residents may be facilitated to receive two visits per week on general compassionate grounds. This will be possible following two weeks after a high proportion of residents and healthcare workers have been vaccinated. There is no requirement to limit visits to less than one hour.
“Nursing home residents have been particularly impacted by the severity of Covid-19 restrictions. Thanks to vaccination we are delighted to be in a position to recommend new guidance and hopefully relieve residents and their families of some of the isolation they have endured for so long.”
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said; “We are seeing continued, slow progress across all indicators of COVID-19. There are some concerning trends in the data and as the incidence remains high, our situation is precarious. Increases in mobility and workplace attendance could potentially increase infection in the coming weeks. The R- number is estimated as stable at 0.6-1.0, but it is essential over the next few weeks that we stay home, continue to limit our contacts and suppress transmission.”
Professor Karina Butler, Chair of National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) said; “We welcome the European Medicines Agency’s conclusion that COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen met the criteria for efficacy, safety and quality. Pending EU Commission approval, it could become the fourth effective vaccine available to Ireland which is a very welcome development.”